Quick tour up to treeline to take a look at the new snow and wind effect.
A handful of natural wind slab avalanches seen during a brief period of decent light on Tincan SW slopes and mid-slopes in heavily cross-loaded gullies.
|Cracking (Shooting cracks)?||Yes|
Recent wind slabs and small cornice falls.
Cracking in the snow that would shoot for several feet.
Cloudy skies with some patches of blue and sun here and there.
Only a trace of snow during the day with a rain/snow line between 700-900'.
Easterly winds were strong along ridgelines (visible snow transport) but light in the trees.
Temps around 35F in the parking lot and near 30F at 2,400 top of treeline.
Parking lot: 6" dense moist snow over wet snow.
1500': 8-10" moist snow over a 2-3cm wet layer that was on it's way to freezing into a crust. Moist snow underneath the crust.
2400': Average of 8-10" of drier snow that was highly variable due to significant wind effect. Starting right around the the top of treeline it was clear the strong winds from last night moved a lot of snow around and scoured ridges. Wind slabs and wind crusts were prevalent and cornices have grown and changed shape.
Besides the storm snow instabilities associated with yesterday and today's storm, we wanted to take another look deeper in the pack at the New Year's crust. We did this at our high point for the day in an area that sees wind scouring to help represent a thinner spot in the slab over the crust.
Pit: 2,400' on a SE aspect. Depth of pit around 4 feet.
ECTN in the shallow wind slab (5-15cm thick) on the surface.
ECTX under this. I was able to use a very hard boot kick to get a failure just above the New Year's crust the propagated.